It’s Quiet In Washougal

Trains don’t whistle in Washougal.  A few years ago all the grade crossings in town were upgraded so that the area could be declared a whistle free zone.  Each crossing has a warning sign to let motorists know not to expect a whistle in addition to a center divider which prevent traffic from going around the gates.  Pretty normal quiet zone treatment.

Washougal has 5 of these crossings.  As I traveled over them today I wondered why they still need 5 grade crossings especially considering there is an overpass north of downtown.  A couple of the minor crossing were on what looked like little used city streets.  I’m betting they could give up 2 or 3 and still have plenty of capacity to get travelers across town.  In fact I’m surprised that BNSF didn’t have them close a couple during the project.

For now though it appears all 5 crossing are working as the three trains I saw passed through town relatively quietly.  I’m sure all the local residents appreciate this.